A regular internet user can’t imagine his/her life away from the Internet. Once you start breathing with the Internet, then it becomes your Oxygen. Without Oxygen life on this world is imaginary. The Internet gives quick access to every corner of the world and fetches information.
This instant access to the world is helpful in various aspects of life. It helps in learning, spreading knowledge & information, spreading ideas with others. But at the same time, it might be crucial when it comes to spreading activism and anti-state agenda. With the presence of this fear, it becomes a threat for countries and authorities.
This fear in mind enables many countries to censor websites that are against their country or law. Internet is censored in many regions of the world including the developed countries like China and few Gulf countries. Few countries are soft when it comes to censoring the Internet, while others are very strict on this issue.
Social websites like Facebook and Twitter are restricted in some Arab countries. Internet is not only censored in China as most of us know, but there are also many other countries where the internet is partially accessible. What are these countries?
Countries with Strict Internet Censorship Laws
Let’s have a look at those countries where famous social media and search engines are blocked. If you look on this issue in depth, then you will see that in more than 90% of countries there are some level of sensors applied. But here, we will talk about the famous names where Gaint Websites are restricted.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)
Restricted Websites: Adult Websites, Gambling, Anti State, Anti-Islam
Reasons for Censoring Foreign Websites: To control unrest in the country and secure religion in the best way.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is very cautious when it comes to anti-state and Anti Religion content. In KSA all the foreign websites passed through a Government content filter for scrutiny. The filter removes anti-Islamic and Anti-State websites.
In most of the cases, in Saudi Arabia, they have restricted websites that are inappropriate for viewing. They have also restricted websites of Gambling, Adult Content, Anti-religion, websites that are against the Kingdom and many more. They also block websites that cause unrest in the country.
KSA Law is stricter when it comes to the national interest. They have blocked Wikipedia in the past. This was also a common practice for restricting social media apps such as Viber, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Facebook. All these social media websites are not accessible in the country.
Restricted Websites: YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Wikipedia, etc.
Reasons for Censoring Foreign Websites: To restrict the distribution of sensitive topics.
China is one of the major consumers of Internet-related services. But at the same time, they have applied the most extensive censors on major web services. This censors start with Google and goes to Wikipedia.
The US-China technology issues are not hidden from anyone. To avoid any kind of misguiding content, the country is very serious on blocking Search Engines, Video Sharing Sites, Social Media and other news/information sharing websites.
Restricted Websites: Adult Websites, Gambling, LGBT Websites
Reasons for Censoring Foreign Websites: Religious purpose and Security reasons
Pornography, Gambling, LGBT promoting websites and all those websites that critics the government acts are tightly banned in the country. Most of the foreign websites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter blocked on different occasions. Other misleading websites like Gambling and Adult websites are also restricted in Iran.
To avoid any unrest in the country, the Iranian authorities have also blocked access to many news websites especially those belongs to the East. Every single citizen is monitored tightly and when someone tries to access a banned website, receives a warning message.
Restricted Websites: Most of the anti-state websites
Reasons for Censoring Foreign Websites: Security reasons
In North Korea, Censoring websites is not that common practice. They are beyond it. Internet access is not publicly available in North Korea. Only Government officials are allowed to use global |Internet service.
There are smartphone users, but they are not allowed to access the Intranet we know. They are supposed to use their own Intranet known as Kwangmyong. They can use this service within the country for communication purposes between universities, libraries, and educational institutes.
Restricted Websites: Skype
Reasons for Censoring Foreign Websites: Political Reasons
In Cuba, Internet Censors are not that high, but the price of the Internet is very high. Unlikely past, in modern Cuba there is full access of the internet to public users but it is still subscription price is high as compared to the income of ordinary citizen.
Due to some political reasons, the news websites and bloggers focus on Cuban human rights issues and political issues are tightly in focus. There are no major reasons for Cuban Internet Censorship, so if you want to get connected to a restricted website, you can do it easily with the help of third-party tools like VPNs.
Countries mentioned above are not the only where the internet is censored. In almost every country, there are restrictions on the internet. In other countries, these sensors are applied mostly for a noble cause, but at the same time, these are irritating.
For example in the UK, Sweden, child pornography is restricted which is really a good move from them. At the same way, Germany hates speech is not allowed.
What Should You Do in Such Situations?
If you know about technology, then bypassing such sensors is not a big deal. You may overcome these restrictions just by using any third party tool. Ban on social media sites is not part of democracy and it is a breach to the freedom of speech.
However, in some cases restricting the internet is fully justifiable. If your country has blocked access to a particular site and you are accessing through any other mean, then it will be an illegal act.
However, if your intentions are not wrong, then you will not be punished. Before adopting any solution for accessing a censored website, it is recommended to check the law of your country for this particular act. If you are allowed then go ahead else stop accessing censored websites.